Belgrade gets new-old mayor, Aleksandar Sapic re-elected

Tanjug/Sava Radovanović

Aleksandar Sapic was again elected as mayor of the Serbian capital of Belgrade at a Belgrade City Assembly session held Monday.

The city’s 110-seat assembly elected ruling Serbian Progressive Party’s (SNS) candidate Sapic with the votes of 63 councilors, which matches the number of councilors the coalition assembled around the SNS has in the Belgrade City Assembly.

N1’s reporter said there weren’t many opposition representatives at the City Assembly, that 81 councilors attended, and that there were no dramatic scenes like those witnessed in January. On the agenda were the election of the mayor, deputy mayor and the election of the city council.

With Sapic elected as mayor, the provisional authority of the city of Belgrade that governed the capital for eights months, ceases to exist, the reporter explained.

Both the representatives of the opposition and the public have had many complaints regarding the provisional authority’s work, including those that meetings were mostly held via telephone, decisions often made by overruling objections, and many detrimental contracts defined this way, said the reporter.

Sapic is associated with numerous scandals and has often clashed with the unlike-minded. Allegations of bribery have been leveled against his chief of staff, while Sapic’s associate Aleksandra Comagic is suspected of involvement in funneling money to phantom companies, added the reporter.

Councilors from the ranks of the opposition Go-Change movement filed on Monday morning a criminal complaint against Sapic, his chief of staff Nenad Milovanovic and another SNS member, for alleged bribery, Beta reported.

Natalija Stojmenovic of the opposition Green-Left Front told N1 that it is irrelevant who the person formally managing the city is because they are merely executing corrupt and criminal acts.

Belgrade City Assembly President Nikola Nikodijevic, who had proposed Sapic for the new mayor of Belgrade on behalf of the Aleksandar Vucic – Belgrade Tomorrow electoral list, said Sapic was first on the list that received absolute support from the people of Belgrade.

“I believe it is our right and duty that, when the citizens of Belgrade voted for our list, I propose Aleksandar Sapic as the candidate for the new mayor of Belgrade,” said Nikodijevic.

Nikodijevic concluded the session on Monday and said the next on will be held on July 1 to adopt the 2024 budget.